Saturday, January 12, 2008

The 2007 National Book Critics Circle Finalists

More drinking and schmoozing at City Lights bookstore Saturday night where the NBCC announced its finalists for the year.

There were lots of writers/celebrities at the event, including Dave Eggers, Maxine Hong Kingston, Wendy Lesser, and many more.

A few observations: Joyce Carol Oates was nominated in two categories, in autobiography for The Journals and in fiction for The Gravedigger’s Daughter.

White Men, where are thou? All of the fiction nominees were either women or men of color, which seems an accurate reflection of America’s growing multiculturalism:

Vikram Chandra, Sacred Games
Junot Diaz, The Brief Wondrous Life Of Oscar Wao
Hisham Matar, In The Country of Men
Joyce Carol Oates, The Gravediggers Daughter
Marianne Wiggins, The Shadow Catcher

You can find a complete list of nominees here.

About 17 members of the approximately 24-member board of directors holed up in a conference room at the San Francisco Chronicle on Saturday. Throughout the day they winnowed down a long list of semi-finalists to five authors in each category. When they arrived at City Lights Bookstore in San Francisco’s North Beach they seemed weary, but happy.

The winners will be announced at a ceremony in New York City in March.

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